Bacardi’s five-year CSR drive halves water usage

Bacardi has cut water usage by 50% over the past five years according to its latest CSR report which also reveals significant milestones in energy efficiency and waste reduction.

The drinks brand claims to have saved 1,630m litres of water across its global production processes since setting environmental targets five years ago, through a combination of operational discipline, conservation measures, and the use of water efficient equipment and recycling systems.

In fiscal terms, 2011 saw a 4% reduction in water usage while water efficiency improved by 9%. Overall, water efficiency has risen by 35% for the company over the past five years, beating its 15% reduction target.

Going forward, Bacardi is looking to further minimise the impact of its discharges and effluents by improving the quality of its wastewater and reusing it in irrigation or fertiliser applications. Currently, 20% of its wastewater is redeployed in this way.

The company has also made significant inroads in terms of energy efficiency and now uses 29% less energy than it did five years ago, with year-on-year efficiency improvements of 7% – surpassing its 12% target.

Since 2006, Bacardi has increased the use of renewable fuels, mainly biogas, from 10% to 17%. Its total primary energy use for fuel and electricity is now made up of 16% renewable sources, up from 7% over the past five years.

In terms of waste, a 12.5% reduction in non-hazardous waste was achieved in 2011 (133,320 tonnes) compared to 2010 (152,528 tonnes). Hazardous waste, much of which originates from the alcohol, was also down 15.9% in 2011 (37 tonnes) compared to 2010 (44 tonnes).

The company is also focusing on developing more sustainable packaging through a number of ‘right-weighting’ projects. So far these efforts have resulted in packaging reductions of 17,000 tonnes since 2008, equivalent to a 6% cut in total packaging weight on a like-for-like basis.

Maxine Perella

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